In terms of commercial success, the Survivor Series was all about the return of John Cena. As far as how Cena’s return delivered on the actual show, it was satisfying for all the fans that paid to see Cena on PPV. The show did not deliver on the PPV buys that it should have and was an average show at best The purpose behind this review is that there are various factors in whether or not an individual will purchase a DVD (or buy a tape or DVD from a friend or even watch it on Youtube or Dailymotion) of a wrestling event. Match quality and historical value will be the two most concentrated on. The reviews will obviously not be written for people who have to have every event ever made by WWE or TNA. This is for people with a more critical eye. We’ll go match by match starting with.
TEAM MICHAELS – SHAWN MICHAELS & CRYME TYME (SHAD GASPAR & JTG) & REY MYSTERIO & GREAT KHALI (w/Singh) vs. TEAM JBL – JBL & THE MIZ & JOHN MORRISON & KANE & MVP
The match: The match was okay at best, there was nothing bad and the finish was the right one, so there was good and bad.
Historical Value: Other than the obvious first time teaming of both teams, nothing much.
Watch or Skip: This is a borderline match in terms of watching it or skipping it because if you don’t watch this match, then you might as well skip the PPV and just find the matches you want.
SMACKDOWN DIVAS – Divas champion MICHELLE MCCOOL & MARYSE & VICTORIA & NATALYA & MARIA vs. RAW DIVAS – Women’s champion BETH PHOENIX (w/Santino Marella) & MICKIE JAMES & CANDICE MICHELLE & JILLIAN HALL & KELLY KELLY
The match: The match was not good, but at the same time Maryse showed more of her potential to become a solid worker and the ending was correct with Beth Phoenix showing her dominance as the sole survivor.
Historical Value: None, aside from some first time teaming from some of the divas.
Watch or Skip: Skip
THE UNDERTAKER vs. BIG SHOW — Casket match
The match: This was by far the weakest match of the four that these two ended up having during their program. It was slow and while slow is not always bad, in this case it was.
Historical Value: This was Big Show’s first PPV casket match
Watch or Skip: Skip, unless you have an interest in seeing the worst match of a program that lasted months.
TEAM BATISTA – BATISTA & K-TRUTH & ECW champion MATT HARDY & World tag team champions KOFI KINGSTON & C.M. PUNK vs. TEAM ORTON – RANDY ORTON & CODY RHODES (w/Manu) & MARK HENRY (w/Tony Atlas) & U.S. champion SHELTON BENJAMIN & IC champion WILLIAM REGAL (w/Layla)
The match: This was the best of the three traditional survivor series tag team matches, which is not saying much. The thing that stood out the most was the cheers that Orton received that showed that he may have potential as a babyface.
Historical Value: This was the fourth time that Orton was at least one of the survivors in traditional tag team survivor series match.
Watch or Skip: This is worth a look, especially the end.
WWE champion TRIPLE H vs. VLADIMIR KOSLOV vs Edge — WWE Title match
The match: This match was not as bad as its worst critics have said, but it was not good and was too slow for the 2008 audience (especially the more cynical PPV crowds). There has been speculation that the match was bad on purpose in order to maximize the crowd reaction for both Edge and Jeff Hardy. We will see based on how Koslov is pushed from now on and that may be an answer to the question, because one would think that having a bad match with HHH on PPV would be a death knoll for a career.
Historical Value: This was Koslov’s first PPV title match and this match was supposed to be a triple threat with Hardy involved, but this was the night of the angle with Hardy being attacked in the stairwell to take him out of the match. Also Edge won the WWE title by getting involved in the match at the last minute.
Watch or Skip: You should watch the ending as it was hot and well done.
CHRIS JERICHO vs. JOHN CENA — World Title match
The match: This match has gotten a mixed response; the best way to put it is that they are capable of more. With that said the match was smartly laid out and had the correct ending. Both Cena and Jericho played into the neck injury well.
Historical Value: Cena won the World Heavyweight Title for the first time.
Watch or Skip: This should be a watch if you buy the DVD because it’s the best match of the show.